We, the members of the Guilford Human Rights Commission, have closely followed the debate around changing the Guilford High School mascot.
On the issue of using Native Americans as mascots, the Mashantucket Pequot, Eastern Pequot, Mohegan, and Nipmuc Nations have been clear: they feel it to be demeaning, dehumanizing, stereotyping, and racist.
Out of respect to these — and all — Native American Nations, we are in full support of the current initiative to change the Guilford High School mascot to one that is non-racist.
The United States has a long and reprehensible history of genocide against and oppression of Native Americans, and Guilford High School’s current mascot only adds insult to injury. If we as a community are serious about making amends and reckoning with this painful history, changing the mascot is an important first step in the process. We must stop actively degrading Native Americans in this way.